It is amazing how many women who file for divorce and have worked at or contributed to a family business find out that they have no legal claim to that business. No matter whether your spouse says you are a partner or not, unless your name appears on the ownership documents alongside your spouses’ name, you have no claim to the business.
If you have worked at the business, either full or part-time, paid or unpaid, you can be viewed as just another employee if a divorce is filed and your name is not on the ownership documents. It is much like having your name on the marital house to protect your interest in the home equity. To protect your interests in your family business, insist that your name appear alongside your spouses as owner, partner or shareholder. Seek the advice of an attorney on changing the ownership documents for your family business if your name is not on them.
WOTV 4 women’s legal expert Gail Saukas
For more on Gail and her work visit the DAWN site here.